May 4, 2016

How To Be An Adult: Managing Stress

Stress is something we all face in our lives (some days more than others...facing IB exams right now personally I'm feeling very stressed) Being an adult means learning how to handle stress in ways that aren't detrimental or involve tequila. This is a skill everyone can always use and so I thought I'd share my tips on how to manage stress. (By the way, my IB exams this month are the reason for the few and far between posts throughout May, sorry!)

Lists are your best friend - Whenever I have a lot to do in a certain amount of time, I make a list on a scratch piece of paper or on my whiteboard of what I would like to get accomplished in a day. Crossing items off as you go through the day is a really satisfying feeling! Also: I always include things on my list that make me happy like blogging or going for a walk with Aggi or watching the latest episode of a show. This way you don't feel like you have so many difficult, boring, or stressful tasks to do in one day and you make sure you take mental health breaks and have some fun during the day!

Talk to yourself - Sunday night, I was panicking. My very first IB exam was Monday morning and I was stressed at the idea of 3 full weeks of functioning at this level of pressure. This kind of stress plagued me over the past year in IB so I took up meditative yoga here in Manila and I was so panicked that I got into one of my stress relieving yoga poses and started talking to myself. I reassured myself that I'd be fine, that my pen would not run out of ink, I would not collapse or vomit or be late to the exam. One by one I eased all of my own fears. Sure, I probably looked like a crazy person lying on the ground talking to themselves but it actually worked! When I got up and went to bed, I felt much calmer and was able to get a solid nights rest before my exam. 
Plan stress relievers - At the end of finals and after graduation, my batch mates are all getting together and going to Boracay for a few days. The Senior Trip is a classic but it serves a more important purpose than finding out how many ways you can wear the only t-shirt you packed for a 5 night trip. The trip is a final free-for-all after 2 hard years of IB and 3 really stressful weeks of exams and is actually the perfect motivator to work hard now so you can feel better when you get to the fun! (I'm not going to Boracay but that is besides the point)

Take things one day at a time - If you think about all the exams you have coming up or all the problems waiting for you the next day, you'll go nuts! Take everything one at a time...focus your energy on the exams you have on Monday, and don't focus on those on Tuesday and beyond. Similarly, if you have an important meeting Monday morning and then a conference call in the afternoon that are both stressing you out--focus on the meeting until it's over, and then worry about the conference call. 

It's really the small things you can do to help manage stress in healthy ways but it's actually amazing how much of a difference the little things make! I've done a similar post to this before, and you can read that here for even more tips!

How do you manage your stress? Share your tips below!


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